Slow Cooker Scottish Beef Stew is fall-apart tender as it slowly braises in a fragrant herb broth. A hearty meal the Scots and those of us with Scottish heritage love on brisk fall days or snowy winter nights.
Along with… a roaring fire, a cozy Scottish Tartan, dimmed lights, and hot spiced cider — and of course, those you love gathered around the table.
The Perfect Beef for Scottish Beef Stew
Nick Nairn, a Scottish celebrity chef recommends a well-marbled beef will give you the most tender, succulent stew. While Scottish beef is, of course, preferred, if you can’t find it in your market, a chuck cut into bite-size pieces will be delicious.
Most Scots like to add a “swede” to their beef stew. A common ingredient Americans call rutabaga, a simple root vegetable that’s a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. A root vegetable… with many names.
Rutabaga: North American English
Swede: Commonwealth English
Snagger: Northern English
In Scotland, the swedes or neeps are used as winter feed for those oh-so-tender beef and livestock. Scotland and Ireland have a Halloween tradition of carving the roots.
The second interesting ingredient is Red Currant Jelly. It gives a distinctively unique flavor to this hearty beef stew. Easily found in the preserve section of most markets. According to Washington State University, the first red currant recipes came to America with immigrants from Scotland.
Finding Your Scottish Tartan
No — this doesn’t fit with a recipe post… but I can’t help myself. When you’re fixing a Scottish meal, of course, tartans come to mind. Well, that and the Highland moors, kilts, bagpipes, St. Andrew’s Cross, and the loch ness monster, to name a few.
However, if you’ve ever curious about the plaids of Scottish clans you claim… this Scottish website is authentic and full of information on tartans, clans, crests and family histories. I have several clans on all sides of my family tree… for me, shopping for tartans is endlessly fascinating!
But… back to the amazingly delicious Scottish Beef Stew…
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- flour for dredging (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 to 2-1/2 well-marbled boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 tablespoons red currant jelly
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 rutabaga (or swede), peeled and chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- large russet potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- In a large zip-top bag, add flour, about 2 tablespoons, salt and pepper to taste. Then add the cubed beef, seal the bag, and shake to dust the beef.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add the flour-dusted beef to the skillet and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat, turn the beef and continue to brown the sides; about 2 more minutes. Add the red wine and red currant jelly to the skillet, bring to a simmer, and scrape up any brown bits from the meat. Let it simmer and reduce slightly about 4 to 5 more minutes. Transfer the beef mixture to the slow cooker.
- To the beef in the slow cooker, add the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, rutabaga, sweet potato and the russet potato. In a small bowl, whisk together the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Pour over the beef and vegetables, add the fresh thyme and bay leaf. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
- Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 348Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 368mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 12g